How to Grow Jade From Seed
The jade plant (Crassula ovata) is a perennial evergreen shrub with brown branching stems that give it the appearance of a small tree. Jade plants are succulents with rounded green leaves that grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 12, depending on the cultivar. Grown as a houseplant, jade rarely flowers, but planted in the ground, jade might blossom with pink flowers in the spring. When growing the plants from seed, sow the seed in the spring or summer.
Sow seeds in a 4-inch pot with drainage holes. Fill the pot with a soil mixture formulated for cactus and succulents and place one to three seeds spaced about 1 inch apart in the center of the pot. For outdoor plants, you sow seeds directly in the planting area. Choose a full-sun location with well-draining soil. Jade plants tolerate many soils but do best in a sandy loam. Space seeds at least 2 feet apart. You may place more than one seed in each location to increase the chances of germination. Do not cover the seeds.
Water the seeds at least 1-inch per week to keep the soil moist. Seeds sown in pots should be placed in bright, indirect light in a room with a temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. To help keep the soil moist, cover the pot with a clear plastic bag that has a few holes poked in it for air circulation.
Plant or repot seedlings when they have about three leaves. Gently remove the seedling from the starter pot, taking care not to dislodge the leaves. For jade sown outdoors, thin to one plant per location if you used more than one seed in each spot.
Dig a small hole just large enough for the plant roots. Choose a planting location that gets full sun and has well-draining soil. Place the roots in the hole and cover them with soil. Space multiple plants at least 2 feet apart.
Water the jade plants when the soil dries out. Prevent root or stem rot in winter by watering about only once every three weeks. Avoid getting the leaves or stems wet when watering.
Fertilize every two months using a general-purpose fertilizer during periods of active growth. For example, mix 1/2 teaspoon of liquid fertilizer with 2 quarts of water and pour into the soil around the plant root zone.
In the spring beginning when the jade begins to develop multiple branches, you can prune to shape the shrub, keep the plant more compact and encourage growth of the main stem to help support the heavy leaves and branches. Choose a few branches to remove, and cut the branch back to a lateral branch. Some branches will snap off easily and will not need to be cut.
Watch for insect activity in the spring and summer. Look for holes left by aphids and mites that have snacked on your plant. You might see these pests as small moving specks on the undersides of leaves. You may also find flat, gray mealybugs on leaves or stems. Spray the plant with water to dislodge pests, and repeat spraying weekly as necessary.How to Grow Jade From Seed. The jade plant (Crassula ovata) is a perennial evergreen shrub with brown branching stems that give it the appearance of a small tree. Jade plants are succulents with rounded green leaves that grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 12, depending on the … ]]>